Is Nepean Avenue unsafe for walkers?

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Nepean Avenue residents said they have no problems with walkers, runners and cyclists on their street, despite Council claiming it’s unsafe.

Council called a meeting last week with 50 residents in the street to discuss options for a shared pathway along the 850 metre street, to accommodate the increasing number of ‘bridge to bridge’ walkers.

Josh Vrsaljko lives on Nepean Avenue, and like 70 other residents in the street who signed a petition, he does not want his street narrowed by constructing a three metre wide path.

“No residents as far as I’m aware are worried for or have any issues with pedestrians in the street,” he said.

“The issue we have is that if you reduce the width of the road by three metres for a path, mums with prams and little kids will stay on the paths, but riders will stay on the road just like on River Road, Emu Plains.”

If the width of the road is reduced, cars will still park on both sides of the road and cyclists travelling at speeds will have very little room between them and passing cars, according to Mr Vrsaljko.

He said Council presented four options at the meeting, and would all result in the loss of Nepean Avenue’s current width.

“It was more like one option with four versions… pretty much with the same width of paths,” he said.

“One was painting lines on the road for pedestrians and bikes, one was the put a kerb and lose three metres of road – all were in Nepean Avenue.”

Mr Vrsaljko’s original idea outlined in a letter to Council suggested to move the path to the eastern side of Peach Tree Creek on Council land, away from Nepean Avenue.

“If Council makes it nice and attractive, and places park benches and exercise equipment there, it will be successful,” he said.

Councillor Marcus Cornish was at the meeting and supported the Peach Tree Creek idea he said would bring further activity to the back of the Panthers precinct.

“Council owns most of that land and Panthers owns other parts. I said let’s have a vote, and everyone put their hand up for the Peach Tree Creek option,” he said.

Another meeting will be held for further consultation with residents.

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